So the rumors have come to a climax this morning as over in merry ole England ex-MS-exec/CEO of Nokia has announced that Nokia will be moving their smartphone focus to Windows Phone 7 (WP7). QT is no longer the development platform, the one that “cuts development time by nearly 50%” or that “94% report..meets or exceeds their development expectations” and was intended to allow you to “write code once to target multiple platforms” (all quotes from the qt.nokia.com pages).
I’ve commented on this blog before about what I wanted to see from Nokia, even specifically this weekend, obviously I did not hear what I wanted to. My first several phones were Nokias, the good old original 5xxx and 6xxx series, which were great workhorses and where the phones of choice at the time. I have drooled after Communicators since Val Kilmer used one in The Saint when I was in high school. My lust for the Communicators was never fulfilled as they were out of my price range and hard to find State-side, and so for the sake of my wallet and acquiring a flip phone I moved over to Motorola with their StarTAC and v6x series devices. As the years progressed I saw the rise of the HTC WinMo 5 phones (specifically the HTC Wizard in its form of the Cingular 8125), and in it saw a phone that could meet my mobile access needs in a professional sense (internet access with a mobile ssh terminal). I made the switch, and thoroughly enjoyed having the internet more truly at my fingertips, at least as far as 2005 was concerned. Two years later I left the job that supplied this phone and went back to my strictly feature phone personal device. Or should I say I went to several feature phones… Sony Ericsson, Samsung, Motorola, LG, they were all meh, although my Samsung SLM lasted me the longest. I was not overly impressed by any of the devices, but they met the basic need of calls and texting. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed yet, but I’m a bit of a dork, and gadget freak, so I will gladly tell you that over the years I never stopped watching Nokia and Sony Ericsson’s high end Symbian phones, wishing and hoping that there would be a readily available Cingular/AT&T compatible device that I could get my hands on. Then in late 2007 I heard about an announcement from Nokia, they would be shipping a sleek and sexy followup device the the Nokia N800. No, it wasn’t a phone, but it was so much more! It was my beloved Linux platform in the palm of my hands, it was high resolution (for its size) real web browsing, with a hardware keyboard! (I’ve mentioned before my distaste for touchscreen keyboards haven’t I?). I was excited to say the least, and bought one within the first few months after it’s release. I lugged it around for 2 years along side first my Samsung SLM, then a Nokia N75 I bought used off a friend. But then, my Nokia N75 died, and under AT&T’s insurance program it was replaced by the Nokia E71x, which I use to this day.
But I get ahead of myself. I just glossed over the acquisition of a Nokia N75. Ah, the N75. My first quasi-high-end Nokia phone. Was it perfect? Not really, but oh how it enlightened me to the true wonder of Symbian. It actually did things I as a user had been wanting my phones to do for years. Very good contact management being towards the top of the list, and it allowed me to begin utilizing Google’s exchange services to sync my contacts and calendar. Finally, no need to have MS-Windows to have good device syncronization, which was a problem as I rarely have a running Windows machine. It was a great experience, and along with the N810 drew my attention back to be focused very tightly on Nokia’s product portfolio.
When AT&T replace the N75 with an E71x, sadly my N810 lost some relevance. I was no longer using my N810 to access my e-mail with a QWERTY keyboard, nor did I have much that I needed to SSH on the go anymore as my job duties had adjusted. Sadly, the device started to collect dust on my nightstand. One of my close friends had purchased an N810 after utilizing mine, and had it die on him about a almost a year ago, so I gifted the device to a better home. All this time I’ve been waiting and hoping for new devices to come out that fit my requirements (see my 2011 CES wishlist).
So… back to Nokia’s announcements today:
Honestly, I’m disappointed. I’m running out of time so I’ll leave you with this:
Nokia was still the smartphone market leader world wide according to Gartner. Which means that if they could fix themselves now, they have a jump start. Nokia’s problem (in Elop’s own view) was being to slow to execute. Instead of re-organizing and cleaning up their internal processes and pushing quality products to market sooner, they are effectively abandoning all of that work (saying you are going to sell more of things you aren’t going to keep producing is not exactly going to instill confidence in buyers), and jumping ship to let another company control their destiny, or at the very least steal their hard work (which we all know Microsoft is not above doing). Its a sad day for Nokia’s user base. One can only hope that someone takes up where Nokia left off and brings forth MeeGo to the masses.
So yes, for the sake of this discussion I was a Nokia fanboy. I still hold that if anyone can meet my phone needs I will go to them, and I hope someone else does, because Nokia has decided not to. I may, and I am still not sure how I feel about this, buy a Nokia E7 anyways, or possibly even the E6 that was leaked earlier this week. The screen is a bit small, but its not a necessarily far off of what I want. Its not like AT&T ever let my Nokia phones get software updates anyways, so I guess it doesn’t matter if Nokia stops supporting the software. And at the very least by buying a Nokia device that isn’t a WP7 device, I can contribute to the numbers against WP7. Petty I guess, but its not like Elop reading this post would change anything.
Ahh well.. off to work for me.